Introduction to Lean Problem-Solving

On August 5th, King County’s Continuous Improvement Team introduced a new competitor to the crowded Seattle coffee marketplace:

Jarrett's Java

Jarrett’s Java

No, the Lean team hasn’t gone off the deep end of caffeinated entrepreneurialism. Jarrett’s Java (inspired by King County Deputy Executive and staunch Lean champion Fred Jarrett)  is the centerpiece case study exercise of the new Lean Problem-Solving class open to all King County employees.

This is a fun and engaging course that teaches learners how to use the simple and creative A3 problem-solving tool. Attendees also learn key techniques like root-cause analysis and Plan-Do-Check-Adjust. Case studies like Jarrett’s Java and other exercises give learners a chance to apply the thinking and tools and take them back to their workplace.

Modified A-3 Template


modified A3

“Staff” at Jarrett’s Java (class participants)  learn how to identify problems, engage in root cause analysis, collect data to grasp the situation, and develop countermeasures to test.

The next class offering will be on September 16 with more to follow. King County employees can find those classes and register here.

lean problem solving class

“We often have ideas for things we think might improve the work or make things run better. Lean encourages us to think about what is the problem that this idea I have is trying to solve,” explains class facilitator Jeremy Valenta. “Lean teaches us to slow down our thinking in order to identify problems and solve them instead of rushing to solutions.”

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